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Korn’s Jonathan Davis Recalls The Cocaine, Booze & Blowjobs That Went Into The “Follow The Leader” Sessions


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With Korn set to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 1998 5x multi-platinum album “Follow The Leader” next month with these special live shows, the band’s frontman Jonathan Davis has taken to the press circuit as of late to reflect on the album. In a new profile running at The Ringer, the now sober Davis recalls the excess that fueled the sessions for “Follow The Leader“.

Davis estimates that the liquor/beer bill alone during the three month sessions was around $60,000—though he admits members of Limp Bizkit and Deftones—helped to drive up the numbers. Davis went on to add “That’s not even counting the fuckin’ drug money I spent on blow.”

As part of the latter budget, Davis also revealed that a mound of cocaine and an orgy featuring some of the band’s rock star friends surrounded him in the studio while he recorded the vocals for the album’s opening track, “It’s On!“. Reflecting on the sessions, he commented:

“It was the pinnacle of rock and roll excess. I’m singing on a record, I’m high on cocaine, and there’s some bitch blowing an amazing fucking musician that’s in an amazing band—I’m not naming names, I don’t fucking tell. But it was a one of my homies and one of those porn stars. It was amazing.”

Reflecting on the intoxicated sessions that led to “All In The Family“, the Fred Durst (of Limp Bizkit) featuring battle rap track of sorts and “Cameltosis“—the latter of which featured The Pharcyde‘s Tre Hardson—he said: “We were fucking out of our minds, insanely drunk and high when we did that. It’s like that scene out of ‘Boogie Nights‘, when they were all fuckin’ on crank and they’re like, ‘No no, this is the best shit ever!'” In regards to “Cameltosis” in particular, he offered “What the fuck was I fucking thinking? I was 27. I was still really immature.” Notably the band do not intend to perform either track at their upcoming 20th anniversary shows for “Follow The Leader“.

Davis also explained his mindset around the time as such:

“I used the movie ‘The Doors‘ with Val Kilmer as my textbook in rock ’n’ roll school, to be a rock star. I thought I had to be what that was—being all fucked up, doing drugs and getting drunk, fucking as many fucking chicks as I could, the whole nine.”

The profile also touched on Korn being labeled nü metal, a genre descriptor he doesn’t necessarily agree with:

“That was something they [journalists] fucking came up with to lump us in with what we started. All the bands that followed, those are nu-metal bands. You don’t call fucking Metallica some thrash band. They helped fucking usher in that kind of music.”

As one of the last heavier bands to truly reach spiralling heights of fame and success before the collapse of the traditional record industry, Davis also sees the band’s time at the top as the end of an era, offering “Korn, Manson, Bizkit—that was the golden age of music, I believe. And after us, it died.” Davis‘ bandmate, Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch also took part in the entertaining read, which can be found over at theringer.com.

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